Art &Technology
- Fluxus

Fluxus started late in the 1950ies, when a group of musicians and artists started developing a new approach towards art, which was characterized by a soft attitude of non-aggressive intervention into art spaces, public space and the media.


Fig.: Fluxus magazine: How we met - or a microdemystification

In 1960, La Monte Young had been asked to guest-edit an issue of a literary journal, Beatitude East, and it was to include 'concept art' and anything else he thought was important. One thing lead to another and the collection became "AN ANTHOLOGY of chance operations, concept art, anti-art, indeterminacy, improvisation, meaningless work, natural disasters, plans of action, stories, diagrams, (...) dance constructions, mathematics, and compositions." Participating authors were:
George Brecht, Claus Bremer, Earle Brown, Joseph Byrd, John Cage, David Degener, Walter de Maria, Henry Flynt, Yoko Ono, Dick Higgins, Toshi Ichiyanagi, Terry Jennings, Dennis, Ding Dong, Ray Johnson, Jackson MacLow, Richard Maxfield, Robert Morris, Simone Morris, Nam June Paik, Terry Riley, Diter Rot, James Waring, Emmett Williams, Christian Wolff, La Monte Young.

Maciunas supplied the paper, design, and some money for publishing of the anthology which contained a more or less arbitrary association of New York avant garde artists at that time. By the end of 1961 before the anthology was completed (it was finally published in 1963 by Jackson MacLow and La Monte Young), Maciunas had moved to Germany to escape his creditors. From there, he continued his contact with the New York artists and sent out announcements about a series of "yearbooks" of artists works under the title of FLUXUS. The yearbooks eventually became the FLUXUS "newspaper" V TRE. Maciunas arranged a series of concerts starting in 1962 bringing many of the New York artists whose work had been selected for AN ANTHOLOGY to come to Europe and performing with such avant-gardists there as Joseph Beuys of Germany and Bengt af Klintberg of Sweden. Even though who and who was not in FLUXUS at any specific moment was dependent upon Maciunas' somewhat volatile mood, these European concerts provided a great deal of cross-cultural influence within the international community of experimental artists of that time.

it could be said that George Macunias coined the term "Fluxus" in 1962 by publishing a magazine with the same name, there were however many steps and stages in the development which were equally important:

1951/52 John Cage teaches at Black Mountain College, North Carolina.
1958 Allan Kaprow presents "happenings" to be considered art events
1958/59 John Cage teaches at the New School for Social Research, New York. Amongst his students there are George Brecht, Dick Higgins, Allan Kaprow, and Al Hansen.
Happenings and performances of the artists mentioned.
1958-63 Galerie Addi Koepcke in Kopenhagen is active promoting concept art, mail art and what will later be called "Fluxus".
1959 Christo works with oil barrels in Paris, Wolf Vostell uses tv sets in Cologne, Nam June Paik experiments with tape recorders.
1960 Robert Filliou invents "Art's Birthday". Performances in Paris.
1962 Wiener Aktionisten group performs "3-Tage-Aktion" (Mhl, Nitsch).
George Macunias publishes a magazine called "Fluxus".
Fluxus-Festivals in Wiesbaden (Museum), Copenhagen (Nikolai Kirke), Paris (American Students and Artists Centre)
1964 Action performances by Milan Knizak an the "Aktual" group in Prague
"Festival der Neuen Kunst" at the auditorium of TH Aachen (with Joseph Beuys)
1965 "24 Stunden", Parnass Galerie , Wuppertal

In 1978 Macunias died.